Hospital visits

We currently run two LSO Discovery projects in hospitals – one for children and one for older adults.

Through these programmes, LSO musicians and workshop leaders can help to improve mood and wellbeing and create moments of serenity within an often distressing hospital environment through creative music-making. 

Children's Hospitals

The Children's Hospitals Programme brings creativity, opportunity and fun to children in two hospitals in East London, Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals, through providing creative music-making and quality musical experiences.

Workshops feature LSO musicians and are led by LSO workshop leaders with a wealth of experience of working alongside vulnerable patients. The sessions are based upon the needs of participants and combine performance, singing, participatory music making and composition.

"Most of the young people we see on the unit suffer from a lack of confidence and low self-esteem for a variety of reasons. I believe the workshops provided by the LSO contributed towards re-building their confidence and most seemed brave enough to take a risk either by playing or by contributing to the group discussion."
Staff member

LSO Discovery Children's Hospitals programme works with infants and children aged 0–18 years undergoing treatment in hospitals across London, many of whom are suffering from chronic, life threatening or terminal illness. LSO Discovery engages with children in short-stay wards and reaches out to children suffering from severe, long-term illnesses.

Workshops also take place on neonatal wards with prematurely-born babies and infants suffering ill health and their carers, and with under 5s on Gastroenterology and Retinoblastoma wards where children are often in isolation with only one play worker per ward.

We are thankful to our partners at Vital Arts who work closely with Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals to ensure these visits can take place.

The Children's Hospitals Programme is generously supported by BBC Children in Need and Vital Arts.

> Read a case study by Vanessa King who carries out the early years and neonatal visits

Supported By - Portrait

Older Adults at Whipps Cross

Hospital visit at Whipps Cross

This project brings music-making to patients in five Older Adult Wards at Whipps Cross Hospital in Waltham Forest. LSO musicians and an established music leader visit patients who are receiving treatment with Occupational Therapists. Patients are undergoing rehabilitation and treatment for a variety of conditions, infections and falls, and over 60% suffer from some form of dementia.

'My mother is 92 and has dementia, but she has been out of bed dancing and singing with the nurses saying it was just like when she danced with friends at parties held during the war.'
Lawrence Muggeridge

Working with Vital Arts, the LSO's visits offer participatory and performance music activities to the patients in the wards, to help improve mood and wellbeing and create moments of serenity within an often distressing hospital environment. The visits encourage social interaction and communication in a fun, calming and inclusive way, giving patients the opportunity to sing along to musical classics, discuss their favourite music and get to know their bedside neighbours.

Visits take place bedside and on the ward, to both individuals and whole wards; and in day rooms, where participants come off the ward to participate. Group sessions comprise introductions, gentle physical and vocal warm ups and breathing exercises. Patients are invited to participate in singing, music-making and listening to a range of music by an LSO musician.

The Older Adults hospital programme is generously supported by The Lambert Charitable Trust. 

Hospital workshop with Paul Milner